Pen and Paper in the logistics industry

omniX labs
3 min readApr 1, 2020


The logistics industry is a complex one, with a highly integrated network of people, technology and physical assets. This interconnected web of moving assets and sheer scale of it presents clear challenges, particularly for terminals that must keep track of all movements in and out of their yard each day.

Capturing container and chassis movements are often done manually — on pen and paper — by guards and other personnel. Hours upon hours are spent every day for yard checks, which — in addition to the costliness — inevitably lead to inaccurate data capture. The absence of reliable data on yard visibility has caused inefficient demand management for terminal managers, for far too long.

Upon learning about these challenges faced by many yards, the team here at omniX began to work with long-time industry professionals to create a solution for them. As a company with offices in both New York City and Newark, it made sense for omniX labs to start right here at home, the major transportation hub of the East coast.

omniX specializes in using machine learning and computer vision to leverage your existing cameras to see and analyze the daily physical interactions of your business. We extract rich data that you have, but could not access at scale. But we faced a challenge with our first few implementations in the logistics industry: they did not have any cameras at the gates! And because we prioritize providing visibility without additional equipment or capital expenditure, we needed to find an agile alternative to simply adding more hardware… So what is already in the hands of everyone working in the yard? Smartphones — they simply had to be powered with the right technology to capture the traffic flow and movement of containers.

omniX powered smartphones are able to visually and uniquely track shipping containers, trucks and trailers as they arrive and leave the yard. This led to a 98% increase in data capture accuracy at our first few implementations.

The improved data capture was then used to analyze traffic patterns, monitor high-value goods and improve demand management, leading to a 15% increase in yard utilization.

So how do we help yards cut costs? Once someone scans the asset at check-in or check-out, an online checklist updates the compliance records associated with each vehicle. This led to major cost savings through the elimination of per diem and demurrage charges at the rate of $36k per yard. Additionally, more efficient staff management led to saving $30k in labor costs per yard.

Without additional cameras or costly equipment like RFID, we are enabling terminals to visually track and report container movements in real time, update compliance records faster and more efficiently, and predict traffic patterns in order to better manage staff and resources.

Speed and accuracy have always been two keys to the logistics industry… we’re on a mission to make sure pen and paper are not.

If you’re interested in learning how omniX labs can help your business, reach out to learn more.